‘We look a bigger side’ – Lambert on his new-look Ipswich team

Paul Lambert has signed five players this month. Photo: Steve Waller

Paul Lambert has signed five players this month. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town host fellow Championship relegation-battlers Rotherham United at Portman Road this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town have signed forward Collin Quaner from Huddersfield on loan until the end of the season

Ipswich Town have signed forward Collin Quaner from Huddersfield on loan until the end of the season. Picture: ITFC - Credit: Archant

Paul Lambert has told Ipswich Town fans they will see a different side today.

The Blues boss could hand out up to five league debuts for this proverbial relegation ‘six-pointer’ against fourth-bottom Rotherham.

Centre-back James Collins (free agent), left-back Callum Elder (Leicester City, loan), strikers Collin Quaner (Huddersfield, loan) and Will Keane (Hull City, loan), as well as winger Simon Dawkins (free agent) have all been added to the squad.

MORE: ‘Hopefully I can bring experience and guidance’ - Town complete Collins signing in time to face Rotherham

In addition, midfield duo Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws are both in contention again after injury.


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“We’ll be a different team,” said Lambert. “We’re going to be a lot more physical than what we have been. And we have players in now who know this league as well as the league above.

MORE: Ipswich interested in Brentford midfielder Judge

“Some of the lads had been playing in League Two and had bypassed League One to play at this level. That’s like someone from League One going into the Premier League. That jump is high.

Ipswich Town have signed James Collins on a free transfer. Picture: ITFC

Ipswich Town have signed James Collins on a free transfer. Picture: ITFC - Credit: Archant

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“They’ve given us everything they’ve got but in my opinion we needed a little bit more strength for the division. We look a bigger side.”

MORE: ‘We’re not just a stepping stone for somebody else’ - Lambert on need for Town to keep young stars

With all of his new signings short of match fitness – they have just four starts between them this season – does Lambert think a new-look team can hit the ground running?

“We’ll try – that’s the difficulty of it,” he replied. “We had to change something and had to look at another avenue.”

Town are 10 points adrift at the foot of the Championship table following the New Year’s Day 3-2 home defeat to Millwall and out of the FA Cup following last weekend’s 1-0 loss at League One side Accrington Stanley.

MORE: ‘I am looking forward to scoring goals’ – assurance of striker role attracted Quaner to Ipswich

“I looked at something that had the ‘five shocks of the FA Cup third round’ and Ipswich weren’t in it,” said Lambert. “Was it a shock? No, it wasn’t.

“It just showed me that the club needs rebuilding. My job is to sort it out. We will sort this out but sometimes you have to go through a little bit of pain before.”

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing another second half chance at Accrington Stanley Picture

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing another second half chance at Accrington Stanley Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

MORE: Lambert on Spence mistakes, Donacien’s role and desire to sign a right-back

Rotherham were thrashed 7-0 at Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend. They are currently on a 38 game winnless streak away from home in the Championship (D7 L31 F25 A93).

“If we win, we’ll be right in it,” said Lambert. “If we play the way we can and keep doing what we’re doing and cut out the errors then we’ll be fine.”

MORE: Lambert to make Skuse and Huws decision ahead of Rotherham clash

HEIGHT CHART

Collin Quaner – 6ft 3in

Will Keane – 6ft 2in

Simon Dawkins on the ball during Town U23s beat Bristol City 4-2 at Playford Road Picture: ROSS HALL

Simon Dawkins on the ball during Town U23s beat Bristol City 4-2 at Playford Road Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

James Collins – 6ft 2in

Cole Skuse – 6ft

Callum Elder – 5ft 11in

Emyr Huws – 5ft 10in

Simon Dawkins – 5ft 10in

Stat attack

38 – Games without a Championship away win for Rotherham

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing another second half chance at Accrington Stanley Picture

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing another second half chance at Accrington Stanley Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

3 – Home wins for Town since start of 2018 (D11 L10 F19 A33)

310 – Town’s five new signings have played a combined total of 310 minutes of competitive football in 18/19

Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 4th (League One), 24th, 21st, 21st (all Championship), 4th (League One)

Manager: Paul Warne (Nov ‘16): P113 W38 D23 L52

Last game: L 7-0 Man City (a) FA Cup

Away league form: P13 W0 D4 L9 F8 A24

Last 10: LWLLL DDLDD

Margins of victory: 1 (x5), 2 (x1)

Margins of defeat: 1 (x5), 2 (x5), 3+ (x3)

Top-scorers: 6: Vaulks; 5: Smith; 4: Manning, Proctor

Most league starts: 26: Rodak, Ajayi, Mattock; 25: Smith, Vaulks; 22: Williams

Last meeting

Rotherham Utd 1 Ipswich Town 0

Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018

Michael Smith slammed home a fine finish in the 90th minute after Town failed to deal with a crossed free-kick.

It was hard to take after the Blues dominated possession, produced 16 shots, had two major penalty appeals waved away and forced 12 corners.

Stu’s prediction

Ipswich Town 2 Rotherham Utd 1

New-look Ipswich to get by on adrenaline.

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